Skip to main content

Are Plea Bargins offered in every case?

Mechanicsburg, PA |

In a high profile case would a plea bargin be offered or would the procsecution prefer to go to trial. And what instance would a plea bargin not be offered?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. With the exception of some murders, prosecutors will make offers in most types of cases. There are too many cases for all cases to go to trial.

    Austin Felony Lawyer

    My answers are intended only as general legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for a full consultation with a local experienced criminal defense attorney. For more answers based on my 19 years of experience visit my website,

  2. I'm a former prosecutor and can advise you that it is a rare instance where a plea bargain is not offered. There are those unusual cases that the DA suggests an "open plea" where it is left up to the a judge to decide the sentence. In that situation, the attorney's meet with the Judge ahead of time to get on read on what may happen. The Court takes the heat and everyone walked a way with a fair resolution.

  3. In most cases, plea bargains are offered. The extent of the "bargain" depends on many factors including the policies of the particular DA's office in question, the quality of the proof in the case, particularly, the attitude, background, and cooperativeness of the complainant, and any mitigation brought to light by the defense including the prior criminal history of the defendant.

  4. First the simple answer to your question is No. Now for the unabridged response, and I will discuss the from the perspective of a prosecutor, which I did for over 12 years on the county and state level. A prosecutor's willingness to bargain and how far they will go depends on a few basic considerations: (1) What is the strength of my case.? Do I have effective witnesses with compelling evidence to offer. Do I have relevant physical evidence and scientific evidence? (2) What is the Defendant's prior record? Is this someone who we desperately want to get off the street? (3) what judge will be presiding over this case? Does he/she lean toward the defense or the prosecution? What are the sentencing tendencies of the judge in this type of case? (4) Who is my opponent (i.e. defense counsel)? Is defense counsel skilled and experienced, someone likely to identify weaknesses in my case and able to effectively exploit them to the Defendant's advantage. Is he/she someone who is ready, able, and willing to try the case. There are plenty of attorneys on both sides of the courtroom who either lack the skill/confidence or willingness to try a case. Of those considerations listed above (1) and (4) are the most important. (2) and (3) follow in that order. My listing of relative importance may vary some from case to case but that generally is how I would evaluate the necessity of an offer and the generosity of the offer. Only one of the four (4) is within the direct control of the accused. Through his choice of counsel factor number (1) is certainly subject to reevaluation. Understanding the bargaining process from the Commonwealth's perspective makes it obvious, I think, how critically important the selection of defense counsel is to the ultimate outcome. It is also why (I wont include the unabridged explanation of this one here) I firmly believe that Defendants are in a far stronger position having quality private defense counsel on their side. Absolutely no disparagement of the hard working members of Public Defender Offices across the Commonwealth is intended. For me the basic truth of that position is not assailable. Likely I get some disagreement on that assessment, and I would be happy to respectfully debate that proposition at some later time. Hope my lengthy post is of value to you.

  5. NO, not in every case, but in approx. 99% of them. As a former prosecutor I made an offer on every case. As a defense attorney several years ago in a death penalty case I defended, no offer was made. It is rare that the prosecutor doesn't make an offer before trial.

    I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics